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Commission Minutes

March 16, 2018

Present: Commissioners Celeste Branham, Ed Barrett, David Wihry, Libby Hite, Brianna Tibbetts, Joe Young, Jaime Logan, Dave Burns, Nicole Pellenz, Carol Rancourt.  
Staff Members: Maryalice Crofton, Michael Ashmore, Cecily Cook, Laurel Bernier

Public Comment Period: Five members of the public offered brief remarks. They were Joely Ross from Goodwill's Multilingual Leadership Corps, Sara Knowles of Maine Conservation Corps, and two guest speakers from the Afterschool Network, Erin Frati and Kristen Brownell. Joel Russ, Chair of the Maine Volunteer Foundation, also gave a brief overview of the Foundation's relationship with MCCS and MVF's current goals.

Call to Order: Commission Chair-elect Celeste Branham called the meeting to order at 10:05am.

Quiz Answer: The purpose of the quiz this month is to provide background information. The answer: Points of Light Institute and LBJ School of Public Policy.

Announcements and Appreciations
Michael appreciated Lisa Laflin, Executive Director of UWTVA, for donating her time in scoring VGF applications. Laurel appreciated the support and welcoming during her first 2 months.

Focus on Mission/Responsibilities
A. Overview of ASC-funded project with Maine Afterschool Network (Frati/Brownell/Ashmore)
Michael provided a summary of long term goal to develop after school service opportunities. Unlike other state who have received this funding, MCCS already has a standing relationship with Maine's Afterschool Network.

Erin: This new grant is striving to create funding streams and systems for high-quality afterschool programs. Kristin, the Program Officer and contractor who will be the liaison between the Commission and the Afterschool Network, has National Service Experience and advocated for grant funding to implement the program. She will be working with Michael and other stakeholders to research, map programs, and plan over the next several months. The aim is to expand the geographic reach of current afterschool programs to where there is none or a lock of services, identify who is out there to host programs, and how to improve current services. This is a 1 year grant with the possibility of extension.

B. Report on ASC annual State Service Commission convening (Pellenz)
Nicki summarized the key points on the agenda for the annual meeting of commissions. She was the Commissioner representative and accompanied Maryalice to the Washington meeting. She noted the experience connected a lot of pieces for her and urged others to attend future meetings if they can.

Business Reports
A. Minutes
1. January meeting
 (Branham) Moved by Rancourt to approve; second by Young. Vote on motion: unanimous in favor.

B. Executive Committee (Branham)
1. Consideration of updated motion authorizing action by Executive Committee (tabled motion)
This motion will continue to be tabled due to pending legislation in the House that could impact the language.

2. Meeting Notes
One amendment: Branham was present. Moved by Barrett to approve with the amendment; second by Young. Vote on the motion: Unanimous in favor, 0 opposed, 0 abstentions.

3. April National Service staff recognition
Commissioners signed up to host a program for lunch at the next business meeting on April 20.

C. Grant Selection and Performance (Wihry)
1. Meeting notes posted
Laurel provided a brief report on site visits that have been conducted. Wihry outlined the yearly process of looking at National Direct programs and also the timeline for Formula grant applications for the upcoming RFP, which will be released in early April.

D. Excellence and Expertise (Young & Pellenz)
1. Recommendations on grant awards from Volunteer Generation Funds
Seven grant summaries and scores have been posted on the hub and HQ happenings. Pellenz presented the recommendations of the Task Force.
Duration of these awards: 18 Month Funding cycle

There were 3 focus area options for applicants: Aging in Place, Food Security & Supports, Transportation Services

  1. Moved by Pellenz that the Southern Maine Agency on Aging be funded in the amount of $ 37,500, to be matched by no less than $ 45,870 in local funds in order to operate a Volunteer Program addressing the Aging in Place focus area and completing participation in Service Enterprise Training. Second by Young. Vote on the motion: Unanimous in favor.
  2. Moved by Pellenz that the United Way of Eastern Maine be funded in the amount of $ 37,500, to be matched by no less than $ 95,082 in local funds, in order to operate a Volunteer Program addressing the Aging in Place, Food Security & Supports, and Transportation Services focus areas and while providing Service Enterprise Training; pending minor corrections to their application narrative. Second by Young. Vote on motion: 1 abstention, 0 opposed, 9 in favor.
  3. Moved by Pellenz that the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program be funded in the amount of $ 37,500, to be matched by no less than $ 67,361 in local funds in order to operate a Volunteer Program addressing the Food Security & Supports focus area and completing participation in Service Enterprise Training; pending minor corrections to their application narrative. Second by Young. Vote on motion: unanimous in favor.
  4. Moved by Pellenz that the Eastern Area Agency on Aging be funded in the amount of $ $14,714, to be matched by no less than $ 17,951 in local funds in order to operate a Volunteer Program addressing the Aging in Place focus area and completing participation in Service Enterprise Training. Second by Young. Vote on motion: 2 abstentions, 0 opposed, 7 in favor.
  5. Moved by Pellenz that the The WindowDressers, Inc be funded in the amount of $ $35,399, to be matched by no less than $ 51,757 in local funds in order to operate a Volunteer Program addressing the Aging in Place focus area and completing participation in Service Enterprise Training. Second by Young. Vote on motion: Unanimous in favor.

Total Funds Awarded           = $ 162,613

Total Match proposed           = $ 278,021

E. Public Information and Education/Public Policy (Rancourt)
1. Report on January Meeting

Minutes have been posted. The primary PIE focus currently is Senior Corps marketing. PIE members did a great job with National Service Day on Feb. 27 and inviting legislators.

F. CNCS Regional Office update (Hite)
CNCS has a new Senior Advisor for veterans and military families affairs. The Federal Government is currently being funded on a continuing resolution (CR), which runs out March 23. The NCCC campus in Baltimore is closing. The northeast region will be covered by the North Central office out of Vinton, Iowa. The application period for NCCC is May, which is a slightly different schedule than before.

April 3 is National Service Recognition Day. The Maine Legislature is sponsoring a joint resolution recognizing National Service Programs in the State. There will be a press announcement and members will be invited on to the House and Senate floors. All Commissioners, program staff, and members are welcome.

G. MCCS Staff
1. Service Enterprise affiliates.
 (Ashmore)
United Way of York County and the United Way of Eastern Maine are Maine's first affiliate hubs and have contributed financially to the cost of the license.

2. Unexpected office events
- Inspector General audit will be happening later this summer/fall. 
- The MCCS office move will be at the end of June to the Elkins building on the AMHI Campus.

3. Commissioner participation opportunities
a. AmeriCorps Member Conference
March 28 at Thomas College in Waterville. The first 2 hours are the best opportunity to meet members and get a sense of the work they do, as well as to meeting Congressional delegations. There will be a panel of alums to speak about their post-service lives.

b. Beta testing of AmeriCorps program design course
MCCS is currently developing a 7-module, self-paced online course. Starting in late May through June there will be a need for testers. It's a great opportunity to learn about what goes in to applying for an AmeriCorps grant!

c. Governor's Awards for Service and Volunteerism
Happening April 23 in the Hall of Flags. The First Lady is unavailable to present the awards, so the Governor has been invited. 

4. Other
1. The RFPs for Formula and Rural AmeriCorps grants will be released during the first week of April. Formula grants support 10 or more members and Rural grants support 2-5. There is a good set of external peer reviewers lined up. The deadlines will be first week of May and by the 2nd week of June the Task Force will have recommendations to bring to the full Commission.

2. Regional Conference in Concord, NH is happening May 20-22. There have been commitments from AmeriCorps Director Spellman and Senior Corps director for keynote addresses and town hall meetings.

Planning and Future Initiatives
A. Strategic Planning Team, Vision Conference April 6
8:30am-3:00pm at Colby College, Alumni Center. The Planning Team had hoped for 30 attendees, but that number is now up to 80. Commissioner participation may provide insight into MCCS's relationship with other organizations and where it fits in the context of Maine's nonprofit and volunteer sector.

Business Wrap Up
Celeste provides an informational addendum in the effort to maintain transparency. Two experienced Commissioners have not received reappointment. Celeste submitted a request for reconsideration to the Governor's Office, which also included important highlights about MCCS. It is important to create and maintain open communication between the Commissioners, Executive Committee, and the Governor's Office.

Next business meeting is April 20, 2018
Meeting adjourned at 11:44am.